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Duergar 5E Race Guide [Survive And Thrive In The Underdark]

Duergar 5E Race Guide
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 12/31/2023
Est. Reading: 8 minutes

Stepping into the fantasy realm of Dungeons and Dragons, you may come face-to-face with the intriguing and deeply-rooted dwarf sub-race, the Duergar.

Often overlooked as playable characters, these enigmatic people offer a level of grit and perseverance that is second to none in the 5th Edition (5E) world.

Unearthing hidden qualities and diving deep into their abilities can bring a unique flair to your typical D&D proceedings.

Charting out your adventurous path and flipping through countless character sheets can sometimes feel daunting. As you leaf through your options, taking a moment to consider the Duergar 5E race is well worth it.

Rooted in resilience, hardened by circumstances, yet profoundly adaptable, these resilient ‘gray dwarves’ bring light to the oft-ignored underworld of D&D. Turn with us now as we navigate their history, culture, and potential abilities.

What is duergar 5E?

In the mesmerizing world of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), there exists a race of dwarves known as Duergar. Their tale is one of transformation and adaptation, rooted deeply in the heart of the Underdark, an extensive network of underground tunnels and caverns.

What is duergar 5E?

The Duergar race evolved over countless centuries, adapting to the harsh conditions found deep within the bowels of their underground dwelling.

Stretched to their limits, they’ve honed keen senses attuned to their pitch-dark environs – a key survival trait in an unforgiving home.

Adventurously plowing through this mystical world, you’ll see that it’s not just their enhanced senses that set them apart; these gray dwarves are famed for their characteristic resilience and solitary nature. Concerned more for survival than camaraderie, they often come across as cold.

Simply put, they boast an impressive array of features such as Darkvision and Dwarven Resilience. This survivalist race brings an exciting edge to every campaign played in the D&D 5E realm with gritty realism and unique charm.

Can you envision yourself stepping into the boots of these Underdark dwellers? Would probing tunnels wrapped in shadows appeal to your adventuring spirit? Keep reading about Duergar 5E – they might be the race you never knew you wanted to explore.

Duergar Features and Traits

Deep diving into the formidable world of the Duergar, you’ll find individuals bred for survival. Weaving through their intense culture, traditions, and battling capabilities, you’ll uncover their distinctive features and traits that set them apart from other D&D races.

Duergar Features And Traits

The Duergar’s unique racial traits make them an interesting choice for players looking for tactical nuances in their characters.

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Ability Score Increase

As a result of their hardy nature and rigorous lifestyle in the Underdark, Duergar is blessed with a remarkable attribute – an ability score increase.

As a Duergar, your character’s Constitution score increases by 2, while one other score of your choosing increases by 1. While broadening your character’s abilities and diving into customized growth paths, it’s worth noting that no score can exceed 20.

This ability score increment is representative of the staggering endurance these creatures possess, adapted from countless centuries spent in grueling underworld conditions.

Creature Type

Now you’re thinking: “Okay, where does my character fit in? What category are they placed in?” Let me break it down for you – as a Duergar, your creature type is “humanoid.”

It may sound basic on the outside, but being a humanoid brings with it lots of perks within the D&D universe. For instance, many spells affect humanoids differently than they would beast or celestial creatures.


You might be curious about how size affects gameplay. Well-known for their sturdy build yet compact stature similar to dwarves above ground, Duergar falls under the medium size category on the D&D scale.

You’re not toweringly tall like Goliaths nor comically small like gnomes; instead, at this size, you carry decent physicality without becoming a cumbersome presence on the battlefield.


Stepping into action as part of your adventurer persona relies heavily on mobility around your mythical terrain. Your base walking speed as a Duergar will be 30 feet.

This may not rocket you across the battlefield like some lithe elf sprinting past, but this steady pace pairs well with your durable nature, helping you keep up with other races while lugging your hefty armor and weaponry around.


The linguistic abilities of the Duergar are not to be underestimated. Beyond knowing and speaking Common, the tongue most widely used across the vast expanses of the D&D world, Duergar has another ace up its sleeve.

They are gifted with proficiency in one other language of their choice. This may seem like a small detail, but having this expanded linguistic capability can be incredibly helpful when negotiating, strategizing, or interacting with different races or groups.


A truly remarkable trait inherited from their underground-dwelling ancestors is Darkvision. Over many generations, surviving in the bleak underworld has honed their vision, allowing them to see in dim light as if it were a bright light for 120 feet around them.

This capability extends even to darkness, cutting through shadows like they were daylight. Darkvision could be pivotal when embarking on dark dungeon crawls or night-time escapades.

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Duergar Magic

Now, let’s turn our attention to the enthralling aspect of Duergar Magic. One exciting trait about this race is its innate magical prowess – it roots deep into Duergar’s very existence.

As they reach the third level of experience (and yes, without requiring any class-related spellcasting ability), Duergar can cast spells like Enlarge/Reduce and Invisibility on themselves using this innate magic once per day.

Dwarven Resilience

Dwarven Resilience is a prime example of survival mechanisms refined over centuries in harsh conditions. Duergar are hardier than most races; they have an impressive capacity to withstand and recover from ailments that would cripple others.

This extraordinary trait yields advantages on saving throws against poison spells and effects – an essential resource indeed when suffering enemy magic attacks or encountering poisonous traps.

Psionic Fortitude

Psionic Fortitude presents beyond mundane strengths and abilities an exposure to the realm of psionics.

Duergar can tap into their internal stores of mental and mystical power, generating additional Hit Points for themselves equal to the spell’s level when they expend their Psionic Energy die to cast a spell.

In other words, they turn their mental prowess into physical resilience – a powerful edge when it comes to averting potential catastrophe on the field.

Duergar Spellcasting

In the world of Dungeons and Dragons, Duergar spellcasting is a compelling and often crucial component of the race’s arsenal. This aspect allows these gritty underground dwellers to master their environment effectively and combat threats with versatility.

Duergar Spellcasting


One of the key spells at the Duergar’s disposal is Enlarge/Reduce. This spell provides Duergar with the ability to adjust their size, becoming either a formidable giant or shrinking to sneak through inaccessible areas.

Whether used for strategic advantage or engaging in combat, this dynamic ability shapes how you navigate through your D&D campaign.

ClassesArtificer, Sorcerer, Wizard
Casting Time1 action
Duration1 minute (concentration)
Range/Area30 feet
Attack/SaveConstitution Saving Throw
ComponentsV, S, M (a pinch of powdered iron)

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Invisibility is another innate magical capability that Duergar possesses. This trait facilitates them in stealth missions, allowing them to blend into surroundings unnoticed or escape dangerous situations swiftly.

With this spell, you can potentially turn the tide of any encounter, transforming difficult scenarios into viable quests.

ClassesArtificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time1 action
Duration1 hour (concentration)
ComponentsV, S, M (an eyelash encased in gum arabic)

What Class Is Best for a Duergar?

Delving into the world of Dungeons & Dragons, you often encounter a myriad selection of races and classes. The intersection between class and race can significantly shape your game experience.

What Class Is Best for a Duergar?

So, if you’re charting the course for a Duergar character, knowing the right class fit is crucial. Typically, these versatile characters are not restricted to specific classes, but some may better utilize their unique attributes.

  • Spellcasting Classes (Sorcerer, Bard): The magic inherent in Duergar finds great expression in spellcasting classes. Their innate ability to use spells such as Enlarge/Reduce and Invisibility gives them an edge when playing as Sorcerers or Bards.
  • Stealth Classes (Rogues or Rangers): The Underdark trains its dwellers in the art of stealth. As such, Duergars make excellent Rogues or Rangers, able to use their stealth to great advantage in both exploration and combat.
  • Brute Force (Fighters or Paladins): If you lean towards hard-hitting melee combatant roles, Duergars can be effective Fighters or Paladins. Their natural resilience, coupled with Enlarge/Reduce, can establish them as formidable adversaries on the battlefield.

Other than these optimal choices, the less conventional yet viable options exist as well. Classes like Druids or Monks may initially clash with the typical Duergar image, but given specific subclasses and situational creativity, they could bring intriguing dynamics into play.

Fair warning, though crafting a cohesive backstory that aligns with such class choice would be crucial to ensure immersive role-playing.

Bear in mind that each gaming session could unfold differently based on your chosen class’s synergy with your role-playing style and party dynamics. It’s equally essential to choose one that would maximize your gaming fun alongside strategic efficiency.

Duergar Names

Duergar, known for their individualism and resilience, also carry distinctive names that echo the strength of their character. These names often ring with a sense of heritage, history, and a hint of the ancestral halls they left behind.

Duergar Names

Understanding Duergar naming customs can further fuel your role-playing experience, bringing your character to life as you delve deep into their world.

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Masculine Names

Duergar masculine names are often chosen for their powerful and deeply rooted meanings. They pay homage to past heroes, strong concepts, or even precious minerals.

Each one is a testament to the history of this sturdy people and gives your character a real sense of continuity and depth.

  • Adrik
  • Alberich
  • Baern
  • Barendd
  • Brottor
  • Bruenor
  • Dain
  • Darrak
  • Delg
  • Eberk
  • Einkil
  • Fargrim
  • Flint
  • Gardain
  • Harbek
  • Kildrak
  • Morgran
  • Orsik
  • Oskar
  • Rangrim
  • Rurik
  • Taklinn
  • Thoradin
  • Thorin
  • Tordek
  • Traubon
  • Travok
  • Ulfgar
  • Veit
  • Vondal

Feminine Names

Strong, enduring, and full of meaningful heritage, the feminine Duergar names their bearers proudly. These extraordinary appellations are as diverse as they are distinctive, often drawing on ancient legends of respected females within Duergar society.

  • Amber
  • Artin
  • Audhild
  • Bardryn
  • Dagnal
  • Diesa
  • Eldeth
  • Falkrunn
  • Finellen
  • Gunnloda
  • Gurdis
  • Helja
  • Hlin
  • Kathra
  • Kristryd
  • Ilde
  • Liftrasa
  • Mardred
  • Riswynn
  • Sannl
  • Torbera
  • Torgga
  • Vistra

FAQs About Duergar 5E Race

What is the Duergar 5E race in Dungeons and Dragons?

The Duergar, often called ‘gray dwarves’, are a subrace of dwarves. They reside in the Underdark region and are known for their resilience and adaptability.

What are some key features of a Duergar character?

Duergar characters possess Darkvision, Dwarven Resilience, increased Ability Scores, and unique abilities like Enlarge/Reduce and Invisibility due to their Duergar Magic.

Can the Duergar race become any character class in D&D 5E?

Yes, a Duergar can take on any class, though they typically excel as stealthy Rogues or Rangers and powerful spellcasters like Sorcerers or Bards.

What languages does a Duergar character speak?

Generally, a Duergar character can speak, read, and write Common as well as one other language of their choice.

Are there any restrictions when playing a Duergar in D&D 5E?

Due to their deep Underdark origins, Duergars faces challenges in bright sunlight, where they have a disadvantage on attack rolls and sight-related wisdom checks.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!